Before there was Arnold (or AH-nuld), there were probably things like this: robots that can walk without sensors or other special means of propulsion. What would it say if it could talk? Probably “Look ma, no motors or electricity!”
The Center Lab at the Nagoya Institute of Technology in Japan put what amounts to robo-thighs, calves and ankles together, a “passive walking robot” that’s been designed, according to DigInfo TV, “to walk using only its own weight without any motors, sensors, computers, or electricity.”
Check out those trotters: Who knew passive walking robots would use golf clubs for feet (what do you think, 5-irons or 6?). The legs and feet have been designed to weigh about as much as an average person’s. How to get it started: Just give it a push.
“This robot is walking down a slope, and its only source of power is potential energy,” says Nagoya Institute researcher Kazuki Iwatsuki, noting that the robot’s made of aluminum and only mechanical components, and that because it doesn’t use a motor, it’s “very environmentally friendly.”
In a recent test, this thing managed to walk for 13 hours straight, taking about 100,000 steps, which adds up to 15 kilometers or 9.32 miles, an achievement now listed as a Guinness World Record.
Next up, commercial possibilities, including a version that attaches to your legs and might help you walk more easily if you have difficulty doing so.